But my hair isn’t yellow!

Emma Vance sulked at her appearance in the mirror. Maybe it was the 13+ hours running wild around the Magic Kingdom in 90 degree heat yesterday. Or maybe it was the rude awakening I gave her at 11:30 that morning (the latest she’s EVER slept by far!). Maybe it was the sugar high wearing off, or the chlorine from the pool seeping in, or the first signs of tweendom. For whatever reason, though, Emma Vance just couldn’t see it.

She stood in the bathroom, a little oceanic cave painted aqua and donned with mermaids, staring at herself. I had pulled her hair up into the highest ponytail possible, anchored it with a giant, glittering bow, and drawn a bright pink streak in it with lipstick (desperate times). She wore a colorful dress with a neon pink tutu skirt and converse. Admittedly, her jacket was way to big, but it was the last astronaut-silver Jojo Siwa bomber jacket left in the southeastern United States. “Jojo” was emblazoned across the back in pink varsity letters and funky patches covered the lapel. We had scrunched the rainbow cuffs up past her elbow in hopes of showing her that the jacket worked. But she couldn’t get past the hair color.

Truthfully, I had looked at a long, blonde wig that would have perfectly transform my six-year-old into her idol, Jojo Siwa, but I decided against it since I knew it would be exactly one million degrees at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. I suppose I should’ve chosen differently, because E.V.’s next words showed me exactly how important the perfect hair color was to her dream costume:

Well, can we just dye my hair yellow really quickly?

When I regrettably had to tell my first grader that no, we won’t be bleaching your hair today, she tried to hide away in the bathroom. Thankfully I had foreseen some potential costume meltdowns and brought a few easy backups. Anna? No. Rapunzel? No. Cheerleader? …

Thankfully “cheerleader” was almost as cool as Jojo Siwa in Emma Vance’s mind, so she reluctantly put on the outfit I had purchased second-hand for $3 this summer. It took a bit of pep talking (mostly from Cricket) to cheer E.V. up (good pun, right?) but eventually the excitement (and sugar) of the night lifted her spirits.

So Mavis Dracula (who looked more like a goth girl than a vampire) and a tiny cheerleader happily ran wild around Disney’s Halloween-iest night, riding Splash Mountain on repeat, stuffing their faces with ice cream, waving at the spooky paraders as they danced down the street, filling their trick-or-treat bags with candy. It was magical. And spooky. And great people watching for sure.

Now we’re back and recovered from our second annual family trip to Disney. And I can honestly say it was as magical as last year — and hopefully next year will be even better!

Magic Kingdom, Day One!

Enchanted Stories with Belle (Ryan the Soldier, E.V. the Beast, and Cricket the Plate)

Winnie the Pooh (both girls were TERRIFIED of the Heffalumps and Woozles, haha!)

Mickey Ice Cream (of course)

Pirates’ League (a less-girly alternative to Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique where kids can “become” a pirate)

Pirate Sisters exploring the park (and thankfully that sassy makeup started to wear-off, haha!)

Cinderella’s Castle

Swimming at our hotel (Art of Animation)

Magic Kingdom, Day Two: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

A bit of ice cream and all of our first times having DOLE WHIP (which pretty much makes us insiders now, right?)

More sugar (oops)

Stuck in line at the Seven Dwarves Mine Train (#technical difficulties)

Day Three: One last walk around the hotel

and one last breakfast with Minnie, Daisy, Donald and Goofy!